BLOCK PARTY

COUN­CIL LEADER CRIT­I­CISED FOR BLOCK­ING FEL­LOW LABOUR CARDIFF COUN­CIL­LORS ON TWIT­TER

South Wales Echo - - FRONT PAGE - HUW SILK huw.silk@waleson­line.co.uk

CARDIFF coun­cil’s leader has been slammed by po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents for ap­par­ently pre­vent­ing mem­bers of his own group from read­ing his posts on Twit­ter.

Phil Bale has blocked other Labour coun­cil­lors from view­ing his pro­file or any­thing he tweets.

And among those he has blocked is one of his Labour pre­de­ces­sors as Cardiff coun­cil leader, Rus­sell Good­way.

On Sun­day, Lib Dem coun­cil­lor Joseph Carter posted a mes­sage in which he high­lighted that Coun Bale had tweeted to say a tech­ni­cal prob­lem with the coun­cil web­site was fixed.

In re­sponse, Coun Good­way said he had not known the is­sue had been sorted as he is pre­vented from view­ing any­thing Coun Bale writes on Twit­ter.

Coun Good­way wrote: “So only se­lected coun­cil­lors al­lowed to fol­low leader re­ceive up­dates – I’ve been blocked so un­aware [it has been] re­solved.”

The long-serv­ing Ely coun­cil­lor is not the only mem­ber to be re­port hav­ing been blocked. Splott coun­cil­lor Gretta Mar­shall was blocked by Coun Bale while she was still a mem­ber of the Labour group. She has since joined Plaid Cymru.

Robin Rea, Lib­eral Demo­crat coun­cil­lor for Plas­newydd, said: “The petty squab­bles within Cardiff Labour are well known, but this is just ridicu­lous.

“A coun­cil leader block­ing one of his own coun­cil­lors is un­prece­dented, and it shows just how much re­spect Phil Bale shows for peo­ple who dis­agree with him. Labour’s in­fight­ing might seem funny on the sur­face, but it’s clearly hav­ing an ef­fect on their run­ning of our city when our streets are get­ting messier, our roads are crum­bling and they strug­gle to even pass a bud­get with­out it lead­ing to chaos.”

Con­ser­va­tive Rhi­w­bina coun­cil­lor Jayne Cowan, a fre­quent Twit­ter user, said: “I see block­ing as an ab­so­lute last re­sort, and only if some­one is of­fen­sive or be­ing abu­sive. Coun­cil­lors should em­brace so­cial me­dia dia­logue with fel­low mem­bers and not hide their posts from be­ing viewed by every­one.”

But a Labour group spokesman coun­tered: “Sadly we can ex­pect the op­po­si­tion to brief a lot of this non­sense com­ing up to the lo­cal elec­tions.

“The Tories will do any­thing not to talk about the sham­bles they have made of the pub­lic finances. Lib Dems and Plaid want to talk about so­cial me­dia gos­sip rather than the fact that un­der them Cardiff’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem was ranked one of the worst in Wales.”

Rus­sell Good­way, above, has com­plained about be­ing snubbed by coun­cil leader Phil Bale, far left, on so­cial me­dia

ROB BROWNE

Cardiff coun­cil leader Phil Bale has been ac­cused of block­ing other Labour coun­cil­lors on Twit­ter

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